Concrete is the most common building material in the world. It is also one of the oldest man-made materials. For most people, concrete is a dull material. The average person isn't aware, but there are a lot of concrete finish options.
Broom Finish concrete is one of the most common and functional concrete finish options. A special broom is dragged over the concrete after troweling the concrete smooth. This creates a very slight texture on the concrete. Simple nature of this finish makes it a great way to add traction on driveways, sidewalks, and patios. Decorative broom finishes move the broom in shell or scallop patterns. When combined with integral color, these finishes add simple beauty.
Exposed Aggregate concrete is another one of the more practical concrete finish options. By removing the top layer of concrete, the sand and stone in the concrete becomes visible. This creates a distinct look that is unique to every concrete slab. Exposed aggregate concrete offers great slip-resistance which makes it a great choice for pools and outdoor patios. Finishers will generally use a special chemical to control the depth of exposure. Modern techniques have made exposed aggregate a great alternative to salt finish concrete.
Smooth, colored concrete floors are another common choice. Mostly used on interior surfaces, this range of concrete finish options can include a wide range of variances. Smooth finish colored concrete and stained concrete are popular choices for residential floors and basements. With a wide range of design options, they can be made to suit any interior design. With proper steps and design, these options can even be used in some semi-exterior applications. Take care to improve slip resistance and use UV-stable sealers and colorants.
Polished concrete and other grinded concrete floors are commonly found in industrial, commercial, and retail flooring. By grinding and densifying concrete, the floor becomes a smoother and harder surface. It is more resistant to abrasion, impact and wear. Additionally, polished concrete floors have a clean, modern appeal. When paired with stains, dyes, and color, polished concrete is an attractive option for commercial and residential spaces.
Stamped concrete is by far the most popular of the decorative concrete finish options. Plastic concrete is imprinted with specially designed tools. These textures simulate traditional materials like stone, slate, brick, and wood. The textured concrete is colored using your choice of color hardener or integral color, along with an antique release. By using textured concrete, users can benefit from the durability of concrete but still enjoy the appearance of other materials. Importantly, concrete is often less costly, longer lived, and more versatile than the traditional options.
Concrete is a versatile building material with a long history. It is most know it as a durable choice for floors, patios, pool decks, sidewalks, driveways, and more. However, concrete has strong decorative possibilities. With a wide range of aesthetic options, concrete is a structural, architectural, and decorative choice that is sure to please the budget and design sensibilities of almost any project.